Yellowknife prepares to drop mask requirement on buses

The City of Yellowknife will on Monday begin repealing a pandemic-related bylaw that requires bus passengers to wear masks.

The Northwest Territories is expected to end its two-year public health emergency related to Covid-19 on April 1, thereby ending all public health orders and related mask-wearing requirements.

“We had to enact this bylaw based on the public health order related to the number of people in an indoor space,” city manager Sheila Bassi-Kellett told councillors on Monday.


“If we wanted to have more than nine people on our public transit at any given point in time, we had to implement a mandatory mask bylaw.”

The NWT’s decision to end its public health emergency means the bylaw is no longer required, Bassi-Kellett said.

“While it’s not legislated,” she added, “the city does encourage people to continue to take precautions to stay healthy.”

Councillor Stacie Smith, the only councillor to pass comment at the first of two Monday meetings, said she was “super-excited to have this come forward.”

“I know many Yellowknifers are going to be in the same boat,” Smith said.